If you have burning, tingling, numbness, and pain in your legs, back, arms, neck, or joints because of the type of work you do or a sport you play, you may have a repetitive stress injury (RSI). Unlike an acute injury that occurs as a result of a one-time accident, RSIs happen gradually and progress over time.
Dr. Damon Christian Kimes at Roswell Pain and Weight Loss Specialists expertly treats your repetitive stress injury and helps you navigate the legal policies and paperwork associated with worker’s compensation, including reporting, filing a claim, and complying with state law.
What is a repetitive stress injury?
RSIs are caused by repeating the same motion and using the same muscles and tendons over and over again for long periods of time. Many athletes experience it when they play tennis or golf, for instance.
But it’s especially common in the workplace, affecting 1.8 million people, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You might work on an assembly line in the manufacturing industry, or maybe you’re a meat packer or a construction worker—any job that requires you to repeat the same movement constantly puts you at risk.
Typing, however, is the number one cause of RSIs in today’s workplace. About 60% of those who tap all day on a computer suffer from wrist pain known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms can range from mild to debilitating, but if it prevents you from doing your work, you’re covered in the state of Georgia by workers’ compensation.
What to do if you have a work-related RSI
The first thing to do if you suspect a repetitive stress injury from your job is inform your employer or immediate supervisor. In Georgia, you have 30 days from the time of your accident to report the injury (otherwise, you may lose your benefits). But with RSIs, there isn’t a specific date or time of your injury, so report your pain as soon as you feel it.
Next, you must see a qualified healthcare provider. Your employer is required by law to list a panel of six physicians or a workers’ compensation management care organization, and you must choose from those options.
Dr. Kimes is a qualified workers’ compensation physician and may appear on your employer’s list of approved doctors. If needed, Dr. Kimes can also provide evidence in your case or claim.
Diagnosing and treating your RSI
If you choose Dr. Kimes to treat your RSI, he thoroughly evaluates your injured area and talks to you about your daily routine. The symptoms of RSI include:
But these can also indicate a number of other medical conditions, so Dr. Kimes rules out any other possible causes. He then determines the extent of the injury and whether it involves muscles, tendons, nerves, or all three.
Treating your RSI
As an interventional pain management specialist, Dr. Kimes approaches your RSI treatment with a broad lens. No two cases of RSI are exactly alike, and your job, lifestyle, overall health, and post-treatment goals inform Dr. Kimes’ treatment plan for you. Some examples of effective treatments for RSIs include:
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen
- Hot and cold therapy
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
Dr. Kimes gives you specific instructions about what you can and can’t do at work while you’re recovering.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment
Dr. Kimes also specializes in platelet-rich plasma therapy, an all natural, nonsurgical way to drastically reduce inflammation and speed up healing. During this procedure, he draws a small sample of blood from your arm and processes it in a centrifuge that separates your platelets from the red and white blood cells so he can isolate them.
He then injects the platelet-rich plasma directly into your injured area, where it triggers your body’s own healing process by flooding it with growth factors to repair damaged tissues and reduce swelling.
Studies show that 90% of those who use PRP to treat their RSIs show improvement in their range of motion and pain level. They were able to get back to work quickly with no further problems.
If you’re suffering from an RSI caused by your job, you’re not alone—and you have excellent treatment options. Check with your employer to find out if Dr. Kimes is on their approved list of physicians.
And if your RSI is not work-related, we can still help. Call us today or book an appointment with our online scheduling tool. Our team here in Roswell, Georgia, is ready to help you get started on a treatment that will get you back to work and life.